Mariners to Interview Lloyd McClendon
According to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon will interview for the vacant managerial job with the Mariners at some point today.
McClendon joins a list of candidates that also includes former Indians manager Eric Wedge, who will also interview today, along with former Mets and Rangers skipper Bobby Valentine, former Astros manager Cecil Cooper, and former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.
Legendary Lloyd has served as the Tigers hitting coach for the past four seasons and was the bullpen coach for one year before that. He managed the Pirates from 2001-2005.
Last week, Jon Paul Morosi opined that McClendon deserved another look, citing that his tenure in Pittsburgh, while disappointing, may look better in retrospect given that two now former Pirate skippers have failed to reach 70 wins since McClendon was let go. McClendon’s record with the Bucs was 336-446, but included in his run was three seasons of at least 72 wins.
I know there will be celebrations in all of Tigerland if McClendon were to land the M’s job, but I also know they would be for the wrong reasons. Fans have been begging for McClendon to be let go as hitting coach since 2008, when that team was touted by many as ready to score 1000 runs. Instead, the Tigers slumped their way to a shocking last place finish.
I, too, will be celebrating if McClendon were to be named manager somewhere again, but not because I want him out of Detroit. I’ll be celebrating that a good man will finally be given another chance to manage. I don’t think McClendon is a great hitting coach, but I do think he could be a successful manager given the opportunity.
I’d even go so far as to say that if he’s still around when Jim Leyland leaves the organization, I’d support the idea of promoting McClendon to run the Tigers. There is a noticeable difference in how McClendon manages a game when he takes the reins, as he does when Leyland gets himself ejected. He is more willing to use situational left handers for one or two batters while Leyland likes to leave his LOOGys out there to face lefties and righties both.